Shawnee pottery planters
Shawnee pottery planters are ceramic plant pots manufactured by the Shawnee company of Zanesville, Ohio from 1937 until 1961.
History of the Shawnee company
The company was established in 1937 by the Schweiker brothers, who converted many building left behind by the defunct American Encaustic Company and hired a large number of their skilled former employees. The company was named after a Native American Indian arrowhead originating from the Shawnee Tribe was found on the site during an inspection. The company then used the symbolf of an arrowhead featuring the profile of a Shawnee Indian as its trademark.
The company quickly built up contracts with a number of national stores including Woolworths, S.S Kresge, McRory and Sears, producing stylish Art Deco dinnerware at highly competetive prices.
After World War II, during which time the factory was occupied for essential war work by the U.S Airforce, the company found success due to the sudden lack of European competition. This period of growth was halted during the mid-1950s, when U.S manufacturers once again faced competition from Europe and Asia.
Shawnee changed its direction during these years, with a range of dinnerware and accessories aimed at higher markets. This tactic proved successful for several years, until the wave of cheap imports led to their closure in 1961.
Collecting Shawnee pottery planters
Because of the large number of planters produced by Shawnee and sold in department stores across the U.S, they are relatively common and easy to find. Some of the company's most popular designs include Fernware, Cornware and Cameo.
There are a number of collectors who specialise in Shawnee pottery, and prices can depend on the size, style, pattern and condition of the item. Small items such as single planters can be purchased for a few dollars, whereas rare items such as the character cookie jars of the 1040s can sell for hundreds of dollars.
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